Seaside Joe is a newsletter about the Seahawks that I put out every single day. 7 days a week. And I’m planning on doing that for at least a year straight. Sometimes the newsletter is deep, sometimes it’s shallow, but it’s always there. I’m up to Day 235 and this is the installment I sent out last night after Seattle’s 27-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
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Seaside Joe, 10/27
I am a little dumbfounded by the reaction I’ve seen from some Seahawks fans following their 27-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons that propelled them to 6-2 in the first half of the 2019 season. Going into the year, many expected the Seahawks to finish in third, maybe even fourth place in the NFC West. Despite the 49ers being 7-0 and destroying the Panthers today, Seattle remains in the hunt to win the division and to potentially get the crucial first round bye that has consistently sent them to the Super Bowl when it’s happened.
Earlier today the LA Chargers won when they got lucky that the Bears missed a game-winning 41-yard field goal. That win put the Chargers at 3-5, giving them a sliver of hope for a postseason berth -- a familiar feeling for Philip Rivers to need to win 8 or 9 games in a row just to make the playoffs. And then when they get there, it’s one, at best two games and then they’re back at “home.” Seattle is 6-2. If they go 3-5 in the second half of the season, Russell Wilson will finish with a winning record for the eighth time in eight years. We know that Wilson and Pete Carroll are consistent winners in November and December -- arguably the best head coach-QB combo in winter in NFL history.
The Seahawks are 6-2. Remember all those years where they played kinda similar to this but were 3-5 or 4-4 and then had to use that hot streak to get a wild card spot? Well, the 49ers have a difficult second half schedule and Seattle’s does not look as hard to me. If they sweep San Francisco, it’s a good shot to get the 1 or 2 seed. Sounds crazy?
Tell me what crazy looked like to the 2012 team that was 4-4. Tell that to the 2014 team that was 5-3 after a 3-3 start. The 2015 team that was 4-4, then 4-5. The 2016 team that was 5-2-1. Do I believe that the 2019 version is as “talented” as those teams?
Well, a few things: How are we actually supposed to define “talent”? Do we actually believe, any of us, that the most talented team wins the Super Bowl every year? No rational person believes that. And did I think any of those teams were as “talented midway through the year as they were when they rolled into the playoffs? No, that’s why they were surprise teams.
The only team that I didn’t have to mention is the 2013 Seahawks that started 7-1, then built that to 11-1. That team was not dominant in September and October. “Bad” games against Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay. Then they got hot at the time that allows teams to win Super Bowl championship. So if you’re asking me if I’d prefer the Seahawks to have a point differential of +150 instead of +12, I’d say of course. But I’d also know that the +150 team could easily fail to win a single playoff game. And I also know that the team we’ve been watching together for the last eight weeks can win 3-4 playoff games. Not that I necessarily think that they will, but they can.
They’re 4-0 on the road. Russell Wilson is the MVP frontrunner. And the defense is bad, but Jadeveon Clowney’s regression seemed to start today. Jarran Reed is back. Ziggy Ansah is certainly capable of more. Marquise Blair is going to be looked at to change the chemistry of the secondary. Shaquill Griffin had a game that many are calling the best of his career. Bobby Wagner is indeed Bobby Wagner. And who knows if L.J. Collier or Rasheem Green or Ugo Amadi can contribute soon. And Quandre Diggs is with Seattle now too. There’s a lot changing and THAT is the point.
Teams change year-to-year, month-to-month, week-to-week, and day-to-day. They change play-to-play. This game changes play to play. There is a monumental factor of luck involved and I do not turn good fortune away when it blesses the team I’m rooting for. The Seahawks are getting more fortune in the first eight games of 2019 than they’ve had in all but one of Pete Carroll’s 10 seasons with the team and I for one am not going to be unhappy about that. You need good fortune to win in this league. And the Seahawks have good fortuned six times out of eight. I’ll take those every week and you’re crazy if you’re upset about it.